August 18, 2019

Immigration Law: 2013 Diversity Lottery Remains Open Through November 5, 2011

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The U.S. Department of State (“department”) opened registration for the 2013 Diversity Lottery Program will on October 4, 2011.The department will accept electronically-submitted registration applications (E-DV Form) until noon (EDT) on November 5, 2011.

Annually, the department sets aside 55,000 immigrant visas for the Diversity Visa Program. Out of the 55,000, 5,000 visas are allocated and available to aliens eligible to apply under the Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA). The department selects and distributes the available 2013 Diversity Visas to nationals from among six geographic regions and up to 7% of applicants from any single eligible country.

Nationals of countries sending more than 50,000 immigrants tot he United States or more are not eligible to register for the Diversity Visa Program. The list of ineligible countries includes natives from the following: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born)*, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.

*Natives of Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible to register.

Eligible registrants must submit an E-DV Form at to enter the lottery. The department will no longer accept paper entries. The official, electronic form is only in English. However, registrants may find unofficial translations of the electronic form on the department’s website, in Albanian, Armenian, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Ukrainian, and Uzbek. Other translations of the form or assistance with translations may be available at the respective US Embassy website or foreign post in the registrant’s country of residence.

The electronic registration system provides each registrant with a unique confirmation number. On or after May 1, 2013, registrants can return to the department’s website to check if their confirmation number has been selected. If selected, the department will then send instructions to the successful registrant on how to apply for an immigrant visa.

Every year, through the wonders of internet technology, more fraudulent websites are created as scams charging unnecessary fees to unwary lottery registrants. The websites often appear as official government websites. Scammers may also send emails or letters “posing as the U.S. government.” Please remember that the department does NOT collect a fee from registrants to enter the Diversity Visa Program. In addition, the department will NOT send registrants status updates or selection notices via email or regular mail. Registrants must check the department’s website using their confirmation number for updates on their entry.

Amber Blasingame is an associate attorney at the Joseph Law Firm and has focused her practice on immigration law since 1995. Amber contributes to the Immigration Issues blog, where this post originally appeared on September 29, 2011.
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